Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, How I HATE Them!!!

This is from today's Progress Report:

RADICAL RIGHT

The Right Wing's Values

On Saturday, roughly 60,000 aggrieved conservatives converged on Washington, DC to participate in the Glenn Beck-inspired 9/12 anti-Obama rally. The event, organized by FreedomWorks, a corporate-funded right-wing advocacy group headed by former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), was promoted as a grassroots manifestation of anger at the direction of America under President Obama. But at the same time, "Washington's institutional conservative leaders and groups" jumped at the opportunity to hitch themselves to the "angry, anti-government fit." Top conservative lawmakers, such as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) addressed the crowd on Saturday. While promoting his organization's upcoming Values Voter Summit, Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, praised the "outpouring of concerns" at the rally. "I don't think it's something that can be directed or controlled. This is not the work of organizations," said Perkins. "I think organizations can fan it and channel it but they can't build it and direct it. I think this is coming genuinely -- this is not astroturf. This is coming from the soil of America." Indeed, Perkins will try to "fan" and "channel" the conservative enthusiasm on display at the 9/12 rally and August's town halls at his group's conference, which starts on Friday. The event will feature a who's who of the conservative movement, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

A FAR-RIGHT AGENDA: The main topic of discussion at the Values Voter Summit this year is certain to be Obama's efforts to reform America's health care system. On Friday, Republican lawmakers such as Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), Rep. Tom Price (GA), and Rep. Chris Smith (NJ) will participate in a "National Health Care Townhall." The next day, a breakout session titled "Obamacare: Rationing Your Life Away" will fearmonger about Obama's reform efforts, claiming that it features "Long lines, refusal of care, months waiting for needed surgeries, rationing of treatments, mandates in support of abortion." Another breakout session will address "Global Warming Hysteria: The New Face Of The 'Pro-Death' Agenda," promoting the WeGetIt.org campaign, which cites Sen. James Inhofe's (R-OK) disingenuous list of skeptical scientists to claim that "the science is not settled on global warming" and that there has only been "very slight warming" in the past 150 years. Other sessions will focus on "Countering The Homosexual Agenda In Public Schools" and "The Threat Of Illegal Immigration."

O'REILLY TAKES CENTER STAGE: On Friday evening, O'Reilly will be awarded the conference's first-ever "Media Courage Award." In his announcement of the award, Perkins specifically cited O'Reilly's demonization of murdered abortion doctor George Tiller. "In the aftermath of George Tiller's murder, O'Reilly became an easy target for the liberal media who tried to pin some of the blame on Bill, saying he incited the violence by decrying these unnecessary procedures on his show," wrote Perkins. "Despite the unfair allegations, O'Reilly spoke the truth, bringing new light to a gruesome procedure. On behalf of our co-sponsors and millions of values voters, we want to express our gratitude to a culture warrior who uses his national platform to promote life -- no matter what the personal or professional costs." But O'Reilly rarely spoke the "truth" about Tiller, who was murdered by a radical anti-choice extremist. Instead, O'Reilly made outrageous comparisons, saying things such as, "This is the kind of stuff happened in Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union." O'Reilly regularly referred to Tiller as "Tiller the Baby Killer" and even called him "Dr. Killer" after his death.

A HISTORY OF EXTREMISM: If past years are any example, attendees at the Values Voter Summit can expect to hear plenty of extremist rhetoric. At last year's conference, one vendor sold an item called "Obama Waffles" that featured a racist cartoon of then-Senator Obama on the box front. In previous years, the late Rev. Jerry Falwell compared Hillary Clinton to Satan and Fox News' Sean Hannity compared critics of former President Bush's foreign policy to Nazi appeasers. Usually, the harshest rhetoric is saved for the gay community. In 2006, Jennifer Giroux of Citizens for Community Values declared, "The ultimate child abuse is placing a child in a gay home." Another speaker, Bishop Wellington Boone, founder of the Wellington Boone Ministries, advocated the use of the word "faggots" while Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas claimed "the gay rights movement was inspired 'from the pit of hell itself,' and has a 'satanic anointment.'" Gay rights are likely to be under assault again this year with former Miss California Carrie Prejean -- who publicly denounced gay marriage -- speaking and the National Organization of Marriage acting as one of the sponsors.

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